What We Already Know about This Topic:
Fresh frozen plasma is often used to prime the cardiopulmonary bypass circuit for pediatric cardiac surgical patients to help offset dilutional coagulopathy that might result in increased perioperative bleeding and allogeneic blood transfusion
Prior randomized trials of crystalloid versus fresh frozen plasma prime have reported conflicting results, but the vast majority of these studies were not blinded
What This Article Tells Us That Is New:
In this double-blind randomized controlled trial of patients undergoing pediatric cardiac surgery with cardiopulomonary bypass, postoperative bleeding and the need for allogeneic blood products does not differ significantly between patients for whom the cardiopulmonary bypass circuit was primed with crystalloid versus fresh frozen plasma
Background: In congenital cardiac surgery, priming cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) with fresh frozen plasma (FFP) is performed to prevent coagulation abnormalities. The hypothesis was that CPB priming with crystalloids would be different compared with FFP in terms of bleeding and/or need for blood product transfusion.
Methods: In this parallel-arm double-blinded study, patients weighing between 7 and 15 kg were randomly assigned to a CPB priming with 15 ml · kg−1 PlasmaLyte or 15 ml · kg−1 FFP in addition to a predefined amount of packed red blood cells used in all patients. The decision to transfuse was clinical and guided by point-of-care tests. The primary endpoints included postoperative bleeding tracked by chest tubes, number of patients transfused with any additional blood products, and the total number of additional blood products administered intra- and postoperatively. The postoperative period included the first 6 h after intensive care unit arrival.
Results: Respectively, 30 and 29 patients in the FFP and in the crystalloid group were analyzed in an intention-to-treat basis. Median postoperative blood loss was 7.1 ml · kg−1 (5.1, 9.4) in the FFP group and 5.7 ml · kg−1 (3.8, 8.5) in the crystalloid group (P = 0.219); difference (95% CI): 1.2 (−0.7 to 3.2). The proportion of patients additionally transfused was 26.7% (8 of 30) and 37.9% (11 of 29) in the FFP and the crystalloid groups, respectively (P = 0.355; odds ratio [95% CI], 1.7 [0.6 to 5.1]). The median number of any blood products transfused in addition to priming was 0 (0, 1) and 0 (0, 2) in the FFP and crystalloid groups, respectively (P = 0.254; difference [95% CI], 0 [0 to 0]). There were no study-related adverse events.
Conclusions: The results demonstrate that in infants and children, priming CPB with crystalloids does not result in a different risk of postoperative bleeding and need for transfusion of allogeneic blood products.